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Seeing the Light
On the assurances afforded by light client resolution
Handshake is highly optimized for light client resolution; for trustless domain resolvers that are both fast enough to match traditional DNS lookup speeds and lightweight enough to run on a mobile device. If you haven’t synced a Handshake node on your phone, go download Beacon.
Some question whether these design choices are excessive. Why go to great lengths to build a bespoke blockchain when existing general purpose chains offer much of the same utility with a few convenient tradeoffs? Well, without self verifiable light clients, blockchains rely on trusted third party RPCs (Remote Procedure Calls) to access onchain information.
This week, Consensys updated its privacy policies around how Infura, the default RPC provider, for Metamask, the leading Ethereum wallet, is able to collect IP and wallet addresses. RPC providers can not only track you, but block access to protocols altogether. Swapping out one RPC provider for a better one is an option, but just transfers trust from one third party to another.
I hope Ethereum can sort out highly accessible light clients. There is progress being made here. However, Handshake remains the best option for peer-to-peer DNS. Domains that rely solely on Handshake have the assurance that there are not RPC providers collecting information on or blocking user access. This is, in part, why we relocated The Shake’s IPFS gateway from public.records to shake.speare.
When we trade security for convenience, we get neither. Maybe this app-specific blockchain for DNS isn’t so crazy after all.
This Week in Handshake
.Stars Stargaze Names are NFT-based domains names intended to serve as names for all Cosmos blockchain addresses. Handshake is the best way for any crypto naming services to plug into DNS and Stargaze is using the .stars domain on Handshake to do just that.
This allows using Stargaze Names as traditional web domain names, taking all advantages from names like .com, .xyz and others, including the possibility to host sites, email services and Matrix servers.
.stars domains point to name servers that are developed specially to serve Stargaze Names records. In the future, we plan to build a .stars resolver based on IBC Solo Machine into popular Handshake resolvers to achieve maximal decentralization.
ArNameserver Add Handshake name records with an Arweave-based nameserver.
Handshake Auth An authentication system for Handshake names as usernames, by Varo. The login system used by Varo Domains and HNS Chat is now publicly available to implement on your own website.
Varo Registry is the fourth registry supported in TheShake’s subdomain tracking — bringing .xp into our leaderboard for total subdomain registrations at #21.
Shake.speare is our peer-to-peer IPFS gateway, freshly rebranded. Retrieve any IPFS over Handshake, secured by DANE. It relies on no registry, registrar, certificate authority, or RPC. Access any IPFS file using just its hash.
Handshake crosses 8 million names and 29 million HNS burned.
Handshake transactions set for second highest month ever as bids reaches for new monthly all-time highs.